Wellness Rituals Inspired by South American Traditions
Our favorite self-care, at-home South American-inspired rituals include setting aside an entire day for rest and nurturing without any electronics or outside influence.
If you’ve been seeking a beautiful opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most bio-diverse and magical places in the world, South America may be the refuge your soul is craving.
Many celebrities and wellness gurus are traveling to and adapting rituals from exotic places in order to stay current on the latest health trends. South America is the pinnacle of wellness tourism, with one of the most popular activities being health retreats.
Many retreats in South America are focused around performing rituals, detoxing, yoga, resting, hiking, and eating wholesome, native foods. While these retreats may be spiritually liberating and transformative, they often come with a high price tag being financially and physically burdensome.
Because dropping everything and fleeing to South America for these experiences is not always a feasible option for everyone, as holistic health coaches we focus on recreating some of these trends in the comfort of our clients homes in a safe and affordable way. This way, you too can explore and immerse yourself in the culture in a safe, soul-nourishing way!
After meditating and yoga, take some time to journal any thoughts and feelings that you may have experienced.
Our favorite self-care, at-home South American-inspired rituals include setting aside an entire day for rest and nurturing without any electronics or outside influence. Start the morning in a quiet space surrounded by living plants. Drink herbal tea (our favorite is Pau D’Arco for its medicinally cleansing properties), light a sage candle, sit for breathing exercises (pranayama) while listening to some beautiful sounds (we love Inward by East Forest), meditate, and then allow yourself to fully relax in supportive restorative yoga poses using props and blankets. After meditating and yoga, take some time to journal any thoughts and feelings that you may have experienced.
You may notice that fears and areas of your own life that are energetically draining may come up during this time. We encourage our clients to take this opportunity to really allow the words and thoughts to flow without judgment or holding back. This is an opportunity to encourage deep listening and reflection.
A hot bath with essential oils, sea salt, and ginger in the afternoon will further your detoxification process as you will sweat out toxins.
A hot bath with essential oils, sea salt, and ginger in the afternoon will further your detoxification process as you will sweat out toxins. Continue to be silent and notice the thoughts that arise. Following this bath, we recommend meditating again, taking time to reflect and journal, and relaxing in soft organic cotton clothes and sheets.
Throughout the day eat light meals consisting of real, whole, organic foods that nourish your body. We suggest eating very small meals to allow the digestive system to rest and detoxify as part of your natural healing process.
Serotonin receptors will also be enhanced while eating a clean, plant-based diet which helps decrease depression, anxiety, and improve your mood. Try adding in extra sources of omega-3s, B vitamins, and magnesium to increase receptor sensitivity. Almonds, spinach, peanut butter, avocado, brown rice, bananas, and dark chocolate are all great sources of brain food.
Throughout the day, also focus your attention on eating local and wholesome meals, including South American-inspired foods such as guacamole, baked yucca and squashes.
Additionally, herbal and nutritional supplements originating in many South American countries with powerful healing and detoxification properties can easily be incorporated into your diet and lifestyle.
Passionflower has calming, sleep-inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects.
PASSIONFLOWER is known to reduce anxiety and tension in South American culture. It is one of the earliest rainforest plants to have been exported, as many traditionally craved its uses as a sedative. Passionflower has calming, sleep-inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects. Because of these properties, it’s often used as a treatment for insomnia and PMS. It’s available in tablets, liquid form, and dried extract – all of which can be purchased at any local health foods store.
On the other end of the spectrum, GUARANA AND YERBA MATE are two natural sources used as stimulants.
Guarana is known to increase mental alertness, fight fatigue, and increase stamina and physical endurance. It contains three-times as much caffeine as a normal cup of coffee.
Yerba mate, too, has the strength of coffee and guarana, but without its jittery effects. It has a high nutritive content, treating a wide variety of ailments, such as asthma, hay fever, digestive and appetite troubles, and low-energy.
Both guarana and yerba mate are popular in the US, and are available in liquid, powder, and tablet form.
Rather than simply adding basil to your favorite recipes, try adding three bay leaves in boiling water to treat vitamin deficiencies and migraines.
Surprisingly, BASIL is a popular nutritional remedy in Brazil and Bolivia.
It was traditionally used for headaches, but is now known to assist with treatments of kidney and bladder diseases. Basil also helps with PMS symptoms as well as dizziness and neuritis.
Rather than simply adding basil to your favorite recipes, try adding three bay leaves in boiling water to treat vitamin deficiencies and migraines. Adding lemon to the basil water also helps treat irritability.
You may even try gargling with warm basil water to appease tonsillitis, sore gums, and toothaches.
AÇAI is an extremely popular nutritive source in South America. It is rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins, protein fibers, and Vitamins A, C, and K, just to name a few.
The benefits of açai of range from weight loss to digestion improvement to even fighting cardiovascular disease. Purchase açai smoothie packs from your local Whole Foods or health food store and simply blend with a few handfuls of spinach, a frozen banana, ½ cup almond milk, protein powder and extra ice cubes to thicken. Top with chia or hemp seeds for an extra omega-3 boost!
Dark chocolate has been shown to have positive effects on mood, high blood pressure, and heart health, and improve circulation.
Perhaps the most popular nutritive substance in South America is cacao.
DARK CHOCOLATE has been shown to have positive effects on mood, high blood pressure, and heart health, and improve circulation. Dark chocolate is even known as a powerful cough suppressant.
Rather than sipping on sugary Starbucks or store-bought hot chocolate this holiday season, try making your own!
Simply mix 2 cups of vanilla almond milk with 1 tbsp raw cacao, 1 tbsp raw honey, 1 tbsp coconut oil and ½ tsp cinnamon.
Although splurging on an exotic retreat that offers traditional detoxification traditions may be tempting, you can simply bring South America to you!
By adding in a few of these mindful practices, self-care rituals and nutritional supplements, you’re well on your way to a healthier, happier you.
Based in New York City, the founders of Bliss Out Wellness, Fern Olivia Langham and Sarah Anne Stewart are taking the growing health and wellness movement to another level. Coming together as teachers in the respective niches of yoga, meditation, nutrition and holistic health – together they are on a mission to inspire, teach, and support others desiring life-changing experiences and breakthroughs. Fern and Sarah have quickly become powerhouses in the wellness community, providing innovative, soul-awakening, yet fun one-on-one coaching programs, career coaching mentorships, events, workshops, retreat and wellness travel experiences.